Charisse Bremond Weaver learned about servant leadership early on in her life.
“My parents taught me to always make sure that you’re fighting for the underdog,” said the second-generation CEO of Los Angeles nonprofit the Brotherhood Crusade. “[My title] doesn’t make me any better than anybody in my community. That means I need to make sure that I’m living my life how I want my young people to show up.”
In the latest episode of the Power of Possible podcast, Bremond Weaver (left) sat down with Darrell Brown (right), regional manager for U.S. Bank, to talk about the organization’s past, present and future (listen to the episode via iTunes, Google Play or direct download). Throughout Black History Month, the company is highlighting Bremond Weaver and African American leaders who are planting seeds of possibility in their communities.
“Black History Month means everything to me,” said Bremond Weaver. “I come from an amazing family of history makers who put it on the line.”
Fifty years ago, putting it on the line is exactly what Walter Bremond Jr. did. On the podcast episode, Bremond Weaver talked about how her father took out a $15,000 second mortgage on their family’s home to found what would become the Brotherhood Crusade.
The return on his investment has been the hundreds of thousands of lives that the organization has shaped ever since. Today, it focuses on providing opportunities for individuals – especially youth – to overcome barriers to success. Bremond Weaver mentioned, for example, a new job training initiative helping teens “tell their stories” and along the way gain exposure to the entertainment industry.
U.S. Bank’s Brown, a longtime friend of Bremond Weaver and supporter of the organization, has seen the impact firsthand.
“It’s brought tears to my eyes to see lives changed,” Brown reflected on the episode. “I’ve met kids who have a vision to be doctors and attorneys, philantropists and engineers, and who specilize in this new world of technology and digital and artificial intelligence. On behalf of U.S. Bank, Charisse, we are so proud of what you do.”
Over the past year as Bremond Weaver has celebrated the first 50 years of the Brotherhood Crusade, she has also remained relentlessly focused on the next 50 years. She emphasizes the importance of cultural competence, for example, pointing to the organization’s increasingly diverse staff.
“I really look at the journey of our community,” she said. “Needs change … and we need to be able to adapt. We work for the community.”